The Politics of Economic Power in Southern Africa

The Politics of Economic Power in Southern Africa

Copyright Date: 1987
Pages: 386
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  • Book Info
    The Politics of Economic Power in Southern Africa
    Book Description:

    This book questions the notion that South Africa can exert effective political leverage over its economically dependent neighbors while itself remaining free of regional influences.

    Originally published in 1987.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5882-8
    Subjects: Economics, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
    William J. Foltz

    Ronald Libby’s book is an exemplary analysis of the use and limits of political and economic power in Southern Africa. Appearing at a time when the Republic of South Africa’s racial order faces widespread internal resistance, and when the South African government has undertaken generalized military intimidation of its neighboring states, the book merits careful attention for its knowledgeable dissection of the region’s political economy.

    This is the mature work of a scholar who has spent many years on the ground in Southern Africa and who has a good nose for the way the political leaders in the region understand...

    (pp. xvii-xxii)
    (pp. xxiii-2)
    (pp. 3-18)

    This book represents an effort to reconceptualize dependency relationships among states in the southern African region, an area of the world that is undergoing revolutionary political change while essentially remaining within a unified regional economy. My approach differs from conventional treatments of the subject insofar as I assume that the states in Southern Africa are economically interdependent with, rather than simply dependent upon, South Africa as the dominant national economy in the region. In taking this position, I am challenging the conventional orthodoxy that South Africa dominates the economies of other states in the region without, however, experiencing corresponding influence...

  9. CHAPTER ONE The Development of the Southern African Regional Economy
    (pp. 19-61)

    The formation of a Southern African regional economy with the industrial centers located in South Africa and Zimbabwe originated during the nineteenth century with the development of the mining industry. The enormous capital investment in the mining industry and its supporting infrastructure created transportation, communication, farming, commercial, and land use patterns that constitute the basis of the contemporary regional economy.

    The Southern African regional economy has the characteristics of a classical, colonial economic relationship with Western industrial powers. Western countries provide the bulk of foreign investment in the area, furnishing technology and capital equipment, while the Southern African economy supplies...

  10. CHAPTER TWO State Strategies and Political Division: South Africa and Zimbabwe
    (pp. 62-108)

    The first category of state involvement in the regional economy is one in which strategies for the political manipulation of regional economic ties have had the unintended consequence of producing major domestic political divisions. Instead of increasing state power, these strategies have tended to undermine or erode political support for the regimes in power.

    States that fall into this category are South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania (discussed in Chapter 5). In these countries state strategies failed because they did not accurately assess the impact that the strategies would have upon state power. This was due in part to the extreme...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Urban Threat and Defensive State Strategies: Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland
    (pp. 109-180)

    In the second category of state involvement in the regional economy, economic ties provide the principal source of state finance and revenue and yet they constitute the social base of political opposition to the regimes in power. This ambivalent relationship places these states in a defensive position. They must depend upon the resources and revenues derived from their economic ties with South Africa but at the same time must devise strategies to cope with the political threat that emanates from the economic relationships.

    Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland and Namibia (discussed in Chapter Six) fall into this category. All rely heavily...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Bolstering State Power through Regional Inputs: Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia,
    (pp. 181-245)

    The third category of state involvement in the regional economy is one in which regimes have, for the most part, effectively used their economic ties with other countries in the region to strengthen their domestic base of power. States that fall into this category are Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zaire (discussed in Chapter 5). In these countries, regimes have strategically manipulated regional economic ties to build and defend their national political power.

    They have, for example, maintained their economic ties with South Africa, despite joining SADCC, openly attacking South Africa in international fora, and even supporting movements dedicated to the...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Marginal State Involvement in the Regional Economy: Tanzania and Zaire
    (pp. 246-279)

    The fourth category of state action in the regional economy is marginal involvement. Unlike the states in the other categories of state action, the regimes of Tanzania and Zaire were not forced to deal with the constraints and opportunities presented by the regional economy. Because the economies of these states were not significantly influenced, at least initially, by the regional economy, it was only as a result of deliberate state action that they elected to become involved. They took this action in order to shore up declining domestic political support or to carry out foreign policy objectives toward Southern Africa....

  14. CHAPTER SIX Namibia’s Preindependence Transitional Mode of Involvement
    (pp. 280-312)

    Assuming that Namibia achieves independence under a unitary SWAPO-controlled state, the ruling party will be faced with questions concerning the country’s involvement in the regional economy comparable with the decision faced by Zambia’s ruling party in 1973. SWAPO can make effective use of South African economic inputs in order to build its domestic base of political support or it can refuse to use these inputs and potentially jeopardize that support. Since SWAPO’s base of political support is among Ovambo migrant miners, and since South African mining interests are prepared to negotiate with SWAPO in order to continue their operations there,...

    (pp. 313-328)

    The perspective adopted in this study of the politics of the Southern African regional economy has two important advantages over conventional approaches. First, it distinguishes between state action and the regional economy; second, it emphasizes the importance of domestic national politics for interpreting the significance of regional economic relationships.

    A major contribution of the present study is the differentiation of state action and the regional economy. Most writing and commentaries on Southern Africa fail to make this important distinction. It is assumed that regional economic ties constrain state action to the point where there is little, if any, room for...

    (pp. 329-354)
  17. INDEX
    (pp. 355-361)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 362-362)